Monday, August 31, 2009

98% done and 50% done

Both of these "plein air" paintings are in different stages of doneness or completion. I paint on site in acrylic using a Sta- Wet palette and Golden Open slow drying acrylic paint that will not crust over, especially during our warm and dry Sacramento Valley summers. The painting of the Elkhorn Basin Ranch (16"X20" on stretched canvas) is 98% completed. The only elements left to refine are the fence/gate in the right side foreground and the foreground dry grass. The water way you see was built by the rancher for migratory birds. This ranch was growing alfalfa and corn feed when I was there. The other acrylic (20"X20" on stretched canvas) is only 50% completed, but it represents a lot of hard work with the complex composition and perspective. It is a children's roller coaster ride with the coaster in the form of a Chinese dragon. This represents about 2 hours of solid painting. After that period the sunlight has radically changed, and I'm ready for a rest! I was very happy with the initial blocking in and resulting composition. I took a few photos before and during the blocking in painting and will use those as reference to complete the scene in my studio. That is why I put quotes around "plein air", because with challenging perspectives and relatively large canvas sizes, I never am able to finish them on site. I will post the finished Dragon roller coaster acrylic within a few weeks.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sacramento River and a Teaser

This is a small 4"X12" acrylic on stretched canvas that I painted this last Friday. It features the setting sun on the west bank of the Sacramento River. The pyramid-looking building is unofficially called the Ziggurat. This is one of three major landmarks (on the west bank of the river) that you see at night coming into Sacramento (Sacramento is on the east bank). It looks as if it is totally lighted up from the inside out and from the base to tip top. A pretty amazing sight to see. The other all-glass and steel structure is the second major business building put up in West Sacramento. The second image here is a sneak peek (just a portion of the painting) of my entry into the second go around (or challenge) for my Self Portrait Global Love In blog. I'll post the entire image with the rest of the entries shortly after the Sept. 12 deadline. THE ONLY QUALIFICATION FOR THE SECOND CHALLENGE (like the first) IS THAT IT BE A SELF PORTRAIT WITH SOMETHING ON THE HEAD. ALL ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED AND POSTED. HAVE FUN!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Real Men Drink Beer

My Sacramento City College summer semester plein air water color sketch class in the hood and workin hard. Plein air art is not for whimps so why no guys in this photo? Because the only guy was ME taking the photo!! Real men drink beer and scratch like the one you see here. Ooops!...that's me!...I do art AND drink beer AND scratch. They call me Ice D. The bling on my cap is a dime-on-pin!! Yo...wuz up?

Re-do of Hotel California

Two posts ago, I showed a an acrylic of The Capital Hotel ("Hotel California"). Last evening, I looked at it and felt the sky was way too yellow plus I needed fix the hotel sign, add some yellow trim to the awning, and work on some minor details in the top windows. Oh yes, I also worked on the hotel's neighboring building and minimized the lone right hand tree. I think its better now,

Monday, August 17, 2009

Challenge #2

Don't forget that the Self Portrait challenge #2 (your self portrait with something on your head) for the second go around on my "Self Portrait Global Love In" blog is due Sept. 12. If you missed Woodstock because you were too high to even know it was happening or you were too young or not born yet, here is your chance for another love in! Go to my second blog for details. Open to artists the world over except for Samoa (only kidding!!!...Samoan artist participation welcomed!!!!). The SP's with head gear will be posted shortly after the Sept. 12 due date. Peace and Love. * This is not me. I only have two eyes, but I posted it as a reminder for challenge numero dos and as an example of how you might push the envelope when doing your self portrait.

Welcome to Hotel California

Actually, the Capital Park Hotel in Sacramento, CA. Acrylic on stretched canvas 14"X18".

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Water, Earth, Vapors

I shamelessly stole this blog entry title from Clive Powsey's self-published book of the same title. He is an incredibly accomplished h2o Canadian artist who has spent years in the Canadian mountains watercoloring water, earth, and vapor. I was the very first purchaser after I saw the book on his latest post. I just completed a private water color lesson at my studio with one of my ex-Sacramento City College students. She and her husband took a cruise through the inland passage on the west coast of Canada. She sent me several photos, and I chose one for the both of us to paint...dark storm clouds, mountains, trees, and the ocean water of the passage. The clouds were painted wet-on-wet with a large round h2o brush. The water was wet- on- dry painted with a large flat brush. After they both dried (sky and water), the tree and shore lines were painted inas wellas the distant mountain range. Also some embellishments were added to the water. The other water color is of a large breaking storm wave on the coast of Oregon. There are small tree- covered islands just off shore, and that is why you see those trees popping up over the breaking wave. Again the sky was painted wet-on-wet just up to the top of the breaking wave. After that all dried, the trees, rocks and wavelets were painted wet- on -dry. Notice all the warm and cool colors I painted the rocks in. Some of the splashes on the rocks were picked out with the point of an Exacto knife. OK, OK!!!!! These two efforts may not match what Clive does, but I still humbly submit these two to you, dear reader. Click on my link to Clive and buy his book!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Taking Roll in My City College Art Class

I can't misplace it. The hair on the top of my head, on the other hand, was misplaced years ago!

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Painting is Worth a Thousand Words

As an adjunct art professor and fine artist, I make more money than I know what to do with. It has always been a thorn in my side, but just recently I found something to do with it. I purchased an ocean going name, blazing red money has been wisely invested. But do you know what? friends don't believe that I make that level of income to invest in this bad boy. Well I do!! And to prove it, I have painted an acrylic portrait of Globe Trekker docked at the Port of Sacramento and ready to take on a shipment of wood chips. I am truly a happy man.